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Cleveland Cavaliers Acquire Spencer Hawes from Philadelphia 76ers

February 20th, 2014 at 10:29 PM
By Pat Murphy

'Spencer Hawes' photo (c) 2011, Philadelphia 76ers - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Earl Clark, center Henry Sims, and two second round draft picks.

Hawes has started all 53 games he's played in this season and is averaging career highs in points (13), rebounds (8.5), and assists (3.3). He is also shooting a career high from three point range (39.9%) and the free throw line (78.2%).

Going the other way is Clark, who is averaging 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, and Sims, who has played in just 20 games and is averaging 8.4 minutes in those games. Clark saw his minutes decrease substantially after the Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in January and has even been replaced by Alonzo Gee recently with the second team.

One draft pick is Cleveland's natural second round selection and the second is the pick acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in July of 2012.

The 7'1" center, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the first round of 2007 NBA Draft, comes to an already crowded Cavs front court. The Cavaliers already have their routine starters in Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson and reserves Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett, who has played much better of late.

There are a few possibilities Cleveland would make this trade. The first is that the current injury to Varejao, who has missed the last four games with a sore back, is worse than many feared. He has been listed as day-to-day and recently had a steroidal injection in his back.

The Cavs said that this was not the case and that they would simply like to give Wild Thing less minutes because of how hard he works, but it is questionable to get someone as skilled to play as a reserve to Varejao. This would also mean there is little faith in Zeller who is coming off two of the better games of his career.

It could be that those in charge in Cleveland don't believe that Zeller is the answer off the bench and want to keep Bennett as a power forward. The Cavaliers signed Andrew Bynum during the offseason and he was the starter before being dealt to the Chicago Bulls for Deng. This showed little faith in Zeller, but with the way he is playing it is hard to argue that he is a capable backup.

There are two benefits of having Hawes over any of the other players on the front court. Hawes gives you the fairly unique ability to spread the floor with his three point shooting. Defenders have to honor his outside shot and that pulls a defender from the paint, allowing more driving room for a player like Kyrie Irving or Dion Waiters.

Also, Hawes' contract expires at the season's end, meaning that if things don't work out, the Cavs aren't on the hook very long. If they do, Cleveland can attempt to resign him or it will free up cap space for potential free agents.

Hawes may have disappointed in his last meeting with the Cavaliers just two nights ago, but he is a player that can add something to this lineup. It will be interesting to see the way the Cavs attempt to use him, as he is a player who is used to starting and playing major minutes.

Tags: Anderson Varejao, Anthony Bennett, Basketball, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Earl Clark, Henry Sims, Luol Deng, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Spencer Hawes, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller

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